To date, New York state has reported 42 travel associated Zika virus cases, second in the nation behind Florida, accounting for 16 percent of all cases nationally.
Earlier this week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a comprehensive six-step action plan to combat potential transmission of the Zika Virus in communities across New York State.
Cuomo’s plan targets the virus at its source – Aedes mosquitoes – with enhanced trapping and testing throughout the entire downstate region. Key components of the plan include distributing larvicide tablets to residents in the potentially Zika affected area, providing Zika protection kits to pregnant women, launching a statewide public awareness campaign, and assembling a rapid response team in the event of confirmed infection by an Aedes mosquito.
The type of Aedes mosquito that is active in New York is not yet confirmed to be able to transmit the Zika virus, but the possibility remains. The Governor’s action plan proactively limits the potential for an outbreak if the Aedes mosquito begins transmitting Zika. Mosquito season is set to begin in April.
“The state is taking aggressive action to reduce the risk of Zika transmission in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have put in place a first-in-the-nation action plan that will work to eliminate Zika at its source, reduce potential transmissions and safeguard expectant mothers against this dangerous disease. The state is monitoring the situation closely, and continues to work with all partners to protect the public health.”
Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker said: “Until we learn more, the best way to prevent microcephaly is to keep pregnant women from being exposed to Zika by not traveling to affected regions, using personal mosquito protection, and doing environmental mosquito control. Pregnant women should also use condoms or practice abstinence during pregnancy if their partner is at risk for Zika.”